Established in 1924, many of the old characteristics of the suburb's housing style remain, even though residents have adapted these through modern upgrades and renovations and strive to uphold the distinct village feel.
Rietondale was previously a farm and was established after the state bought the farm from the original owner. To this day, the suburb exhibits farm-type characteristics and has classic farm-style houses, says Robin van der Walt of Dormehl Phalane Property Group.
“Rietondale was established in 1924. The housing style is classic with farm-style houses. Most of the interiors have been slightly modernised, but the old school charm remains,” says Van der Walt, explaining that residents have gradually adapted the homes to modern standards through upgrades, renovations and extensions.
“Some are extending the physical parameters, and others are only upgrading the interior finishes.” The full title houses occupy stand sizes of about 1 100m² and the few sectional schemes are mainly duets consisting of two units per stand, averaging 190m² a unit, says Van der Walt.
Although sales have decreased year on year for the past 12 months, properties between R1.5 million and R3m have actually sold relatively well, she reports.
Homes above R3m are selling much slower. “Regarding most requested locations, the main enquiries I get are for Buffels Street, which has large upmarket homes; Soutpansberg Road, which is busy yet central, being the main route into and out of Pretoria Central; and Eben Roux Street for the safe estate, environmental feel.”
Most residents strive to uphold the suburb’s distinctive village feel, but some have lately expressed concerns that ongoing changes in and around the neighbourhood might upset this perceived idyll.
One of these changes relates to developments at the headquarters of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) in Soutpansberg Road, where construction is ongoing, and Queenswood Quarter, the new shopping centre that has increased traffic into the suburb.
Some residents also worry these changes might attract the attention of investors who may not have the area’s best interests at heart. Despite these reservations Rietondale remains popular.
“Rietondale is surrounded by good primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions. Dirco is also here,” says Van der Walt.
“The area is located centrally between three major hospitals, namely Netcare Moot Hospital, Netcare Eugene Marais Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital,” says Van der Walt, who also cites the suburb’s close proximity to Pretoria central and the Union Buildings, the seat of the South African government, underlining the convenience for government employees staying close to the workplace.
Professionals, including doctors and lawyers as well as businesspeople, also find Rietondale well-situated and convenient. Then there’s Rietondale Park, one of the largest recreational parks in Tshwane, popular for sporting activities, get-togethers and picnics.
The area’s security is good and is overseen by the Rietondale Homeowners’ and Residents’ Association. Van der Walt says Riviera is much more affordable.
Pieter Smith’s favourite places and things to do
1 Colbyn Golf Park
There are nice greens and a cosy restaurant in an open atmosphere. They serve great breakfasts and other items such as eisbein. They also have a pizza oven. 58 Kilnerton Road, Koedoespoort. 012 342 3882
2 Toni’s Pizza
Their pizzas are unique and awesome. The menu includes gourmet pizzas. 676 Chamberlain Street, Rietfontein. 012 329 9000
3 La Pentola
Famous and charming Mediterranean restaurant. 5 Well Street, Riviera. 012 329 4028
4 Rietondale Park
You can take your children for bicycle rides or have a family picnic. Lots of activities take place there including boot camps and sports such as tennis and softball. 87 Van Der Merwe Street, Rietondale.
5 Queens Corner
It is well-situated along Soutpansberg Road and has lots of shops, restaurants and other services in a convenient setting. Corner Soutpansberg Road and Webb Avenue, Queenswood. 012 753 8224
6 1892 Sinkhuis Restaurant
Family-friendly 19th century restaurant with lovely garden. 012 329 0762